Wisdom Borne of Pain

It was the proverbial dark and stormy day in late December when we first met.  Most meetings we hold have some levity to them, but not this one. Some of us spread out across the wooden conference table; others stood against the back wall of the room, one joined us via conference.  Banter was non-existent and the pallor of the room was morgue-like. What had gotten this team of experts so somber?

The occasion of our meeting was to discuss an action unprecedented in the history of USGlass magazine: the creation of a special issue focused on a single topic. And that topic was to be school safety. Our meeting was held just a few days after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., and we were all still dealing with the collective grief. In the room were most of our editorial staff members and some from our digital media services department. Together, we had mothers and fathers of eleven children, most of them under twelve.

In addition to all our concerns as grand-, God- or just plain-parents, we were also concerned for the industry we love and write about each day. Glass, it seems was taking a lot of heat for the tragedy. It strikes me as amazing personally that a mad gunman with a stockpile of guns and ammunition can break into a building and extinguish lives barely begun, yet the first thing we blame is the glass.

So we sat there as parents and journalists, determined to throw open the whole issue of school safety and glass and that is how the upcoming special issue was created. It is the result of an incredible amount of engagement with the industry and some very thoughtful discussion around it.

And we didn’t concentrate solely on human security issues. School safety includes protection from hurricanes and tornados and fire, as well as from Bushmaster rifles in the hands of lunatics.

Through the leadership of our vice president for editorial Tara Taffera and USGlass editor Ellen Rogers, our staff has labored tirelessly to create this upcoming issue. They were so excited about it that they spoke about it on camera through the assistance of our digital media department, led by vice president Holly Biller.

So as I write this, I am sitting on a plane reading the stories that will appear in the issue and am proud of what they have accomplished and very, very saddened that it had to be at all.